There’s nothing like the potential of January. The calendar says it is a time to day dream about possibilities, but if you have the desire to stretch yourself from possibility to action, January is exactly the time to set intentions toward turning those possibilities into reality.

Following the five steps below, you will have set the foundation of your very first bike overnight – in less than an hour.

1 – Drink a big ol glass of water. (5 minutes)

Seriously. Right now.

It might sound trite, but it is the first thing you can do to get your brain in shape for possibilities so chug, chug, chug! After you’ve finished that glass, set an alarm on your phone (assuming you have a smart phone) for four hours from now, drink another glass of water. Or write a note for yourself. Or set a recurring calendar event. Whatever you do, you want to stay hydrated – our mood dips when we’re dehydrated, and if you’re even considering planning something that takes you out of your comfort zone, you’ll want to make sure your mindset is as elevated.

2 – Identify 3 possible weekends or dates for your trip and pencil a note on your calendar! (10-15 minutes)

You need as little as two days for an overnight. Plenty of folks do something called a sub-24 hour overnight (S24). You might wonder, why bother for just one night, but the truth is this is all about lowering the barrier of entry, trying it on and building confidence toward longer trips, if you’re into it. I’d recommend picking a time of the year that has some meaning, like a birthday, or the anniversary of a significant event. It might even be a weekend when others are likely to be camping (Memorial Weekend, 4th of July, Labor Day Weekend, etc) so you could meet them.

Do you have to camp? No, certainly not. Many people decide to make stay overnight at a hotel, inn or bed & breakfast. This is a good option for your first time out, if it’s affordable and you’re absolutely opposed to camping. Depending on your location, you might find local parks or campgrounds that have cabins or yurts. Lots of folks are super into the inexpense and self-sufficiency of tent camping, but this is a great compromise.

Don’t go too far down the rabbit hole here. If you have the desire to go on a bike overnight of any kind, just scout out three options for when you could go and leave it at that for now. We’ll revisit all this later.

3 – Identify your W.H.Y. (10-15 minutes)

Find a clean sheet of paper – yes, I’m into old fashioned ink on paper.  Across the top, or somewhere in the first quarter of the paper, write why this is something you’d even consider, how you might feel after completing your bike overnight, and for what you yearn. Going on a bike overnight is not as hard as perhaps you have made it out to be, but it’s more physically and mentally demanding than say, hopping in the car. Knowing what motivates you with help you move forward with prep and planning.

4 – Anticipate Awesomeness, Honor your Fears (10-15 minutes)

Fold your paper in half. Under your W.H.Y. statement On one side write “Awesome”, on the other write “Fear based”.

Now write down as many things or potential experiences you can think of in each respective column. Let your mind sprint. Be imaginative with your awesome list, and be brutal with your fear based list. What are you afraid of? Get this stuff out of your head and into the light of day. Once you articulate what is nagging in the back of your head, you can evaluate it for real. Often fears can be alleviated with knowledge, preparation and fresh air. Once you get those out, you’ll probably have even more to add to the “Awesome” column.

5 – Hang it High! (5 minutes)

Tack this list to your cubicle wall or tape it to your bathroom mirror – some place you can see it every day, and refer to it as you start planning. Are you afraid someone will see it? That could be a trigger to add something more to your “fear based” list.

If you don’t feel safe enough to do that, post it here in the comments.

You can totally do this. Let’s go bike camping!

~C

By | 2015-07-07T15:36:23+00:00 January 6th, 2015|Bicycle Touring, bike, bike camping, camping, Tour, Travel|1 Comment